Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2013

Treasury warning on debt ceiling: Congress has a lot of work to do, money will run out mid-October

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Congress isn’t working fast enough to extend the debt limit and the consequences of inaction are dire.

photo by photoSteve101 via Flickr

photo by photoSteve101 via Flickr

“If you look at the calm out there, which I think is a bit greater than it should be, there’s a sense that 2011 was a terrible experience and nobody would do that again,” Lew said at the Bloomberg Markets 50 conference in New York.

“People have to take seriously the fact that Congress has a lot of work to do in a short period of time and the consequences of their failure are very substantial.”

Lew also said the U.S. is almost out of money, and said in a letter to Congress October 17 is the likely deadline when “extraordinary measures” will run out.

“It will be the middle of October when we are left with just cash–no more ability to go out and borrow unless Congress acts,” Lew said at the conference.

Lew repeated his hard line that President Barack Obama “will not and should not” negotiate with the GOP. He said Republicans were willing to default and therefore should not be negotiated with as that is not an option.

“There is no good alternative,” Lew said of not adding to the amount the government can borrow.

Lew was asked why Obama negotiated on the issue in 2011 but won’t now.

He said it was “not a good experience” to go “right to the brink of default.”

Markets reacted with high volatility, and Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s credit rating from AAA—the strongest possible—to AA+.

“We saw real damage to the U.S. economy, even though we ended up with a deal at the eleventh hour,” Lew said. “We shouldn’t do that again.”


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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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